USPS Breakfast Discusses Marketing Strategies

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NEW YORK -- The U.S. Postal Service's ride-along program has generated $15 million in revenue since is inception in February of 2000, said Vito Fortuna, a sales specialist with the agency's New York metro area direct marketing team, at a "Power Breakfast" sponsored by the team here yesterday.


The purpose of the breakfast was to present mail-based marketing strategies to publishers and direct marketers in the New York area.


The ride-along program allows mailers to send catalogs and other items weighing up to 3.3 ounces as a ride-along with poly-bagged magazines for a flat fee of 12.4 cents per piece. The magazine publisher must pay the regular Periodicals postage to qualify for the ride-along program.


Speaker Leland Waterman, manager of distribution/postal affairs at New York-based Forbes Inc., said Forbes has used the ride-along program with many of its advertisers. Without it, he said, attachments and loose enclosures within a publication would "cost the usual Standard Mail piece rate of 20 to 25 cents per piece."


Waterman also said the program allows advertisers "to be in the front seat of their product, and reach a targeted audience with minimal restrictions."


Kathy Goglick, president of the custom media division at design and publishing firm Danilo Black, talked about using custom publishing as a customer relationship management and direct marketing tool. She related her experience in launching a custom publishing vehicle for Home Depot called Style Ideas last year. The publication, which started out as an magazine published twice a year with a circulation of 800,000 now has a circulation of 4.5 million and is published four times per year.


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